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In the Community September 4, 2015

Best Practices for Creating an Emergency Kit

No disaster preparedness plan is ever complete without an emergency kit. This should contain food, water and other basic items an individual or family may need to survive when they have to evacuate their home. In case of an imminent disaster, it’s unlikely that one will have the time to gather all the supplies in a kit. Thus, it’s important to make the kit in advance and keep it in a safe but easy-to-reach place.

A basic emergency kit should include:

  • Water for drinking and sanitation to last at least 3 days; one gallon of water per person per day should suffice; sick people, children or nursing mothers may need more water, though;
  • Non-perishable food for at least 3 days; salty foods should be avoided;
  • A first aid kit that may include prescription medication, scissors, tweezers, cloth tape, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, non-latex gloves, etc.;
  • Hand crank or battery-powered radio, as well as spare batteries;
  • Flashlight with extra batteries;
  • Whistle to call for help;
  • Dust maskplastic sheeting and duct-tape for shelter making;
  • Moist towelettes and garbage bags for sanitation;
  • Pliers or a wrench to turn off utilities;
  • Can opener;
  • Local map(s);
  • Cell phone with an extra charger.

Optional items to include in an emergency kit:

  • Essential documents, such as IDs, birth certificates, bank account records or insurance policies;
  • Extra clothes, warm blankets and sleeping bags for cold season;
  • An extra pair of glasses;
  • Infant formula and diapers;
  • Matches to light a fire;
  • Personal hygiene items for women;
  • Plastic plates, cups and cutlery;
  • Games, books and other items to pass time.

Other tips:

  • An emergency kit should be kept at home, at work and in vehicles in a designated place. At home, all family members should know where the kit is.
  • The kit ought to be put in one or more easy-to-carry containers, such as a backpack or suitcase with wheels. All sensitive items in the kit should be kept in airtight plastic bags to protect them.
  • Food should be kept in a non-humid, cool place. Foods that have gone bad or cans that have swollen must be replaced. Water and food supplies should be replaced every 6 months.
  • Throughout the year, the kit should be maintained and updated, according to the needs of each individual or family.

Creating an evacuation plan at home and at the workplace, as well as preparing for emergencies are also very important to overcoming disasters without major losses. For professional fire, smoke, flood or mould restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office.

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